Voting From the Extremes, and Other Political Existential Crises.
It’s Thursday, and I’m already taking close notes on how to best prepare myself for a trip to my family’s weekend house of worship this weekend: Costco. Thanks Mum for the video on “how to master the art” of shopping at that magical place.
Here at the Missive, we (I) dwell on the cataclysmic progress pit that is the Trump candidacy because shooting bright orange fish in barrel, etc. I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t discuss the Democratic discord percolating over in my Facebook feed. I don’t know what my FB algorithms been smoking, but the vitriol directed towards Clinton from some of my liberal friends is reaching new heights and it does not a happy Amy make.
Of course, before I mention anything, I am a Hillary supporter and I have my biases, but my discomfort still stands. Over at Pajiba, Dustin Rowles elaborates on what’s been bugging me. In ‘Bernie or Bust’ is the Rallying Cry of Privileged Assholery, Rowles takes on Susan Sarandon’s - and a third of my friends, if FB = truth - decision that she won’t vote for Hillary if she’s the Dem nominee over Sanders.
Back in 2008, when Clinton conceded the Democratic nom to Obama, there was talk of women voters checking the McCain / Palin box, because lady bits, after the rough Dem primary that year. While that movement didn’t pan out in the general election. It turns out ovaries do not have a veto vote at one’s intellectual UN security council. I remember being angry - only angry, mind you, because I was living in Canada and not able to vote in the US yet - at the concept of voting out of spite. Voting for a candidate and party with a track record that runs counter to the personal interests you saw embodied in an oppositional candidate, just because the first candidate you backed didn’t make it, or not voting at all, which essentially takes you back to step A.
I cannot reiterate enough that this is a very important election. Rowles’ makes a point that "Four years of Trump is not something that can be quickly untucked,” a sentiment that I am seeing Republican voters grapple with on Twitter. An aside: this is why I still like Twitter. I think Facebook prioritizes liberal friend postings because they’ve pegged me for the left coast, kombucha-brewing hippie that I am, while Twitter remains a feed in which I can be exposed to contrary views. For now. But what does a moderate Republican do if Trump is the nominee? I empathize with the many very good and smart Republican voters with whom I differ with on certain issues. They see a candidate whose “record" stands contrary to their own values, poised to take the nom on a campaign of sideshow anger. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a moderate female Republican voter faced with the choice of voting for Trump, as there is so much in his platform, persona and background that is blatantly anti-woman, or not voting for the GOP candidate. This isn’t Hillary v. Sanders for them: this is a truly existential political dilemma.
We’re in a world of extremes right now: extreme anger, extreme polarization, extremely annoying Facebook updates. But in an ideal world, politics navigate and bridge those extremes, allowing us to come together, live as a society, and not revert back to feudal disputes. I hope that Sanders voters can find more in their party's nominee than moderate female Republicans find in Trump, for personal partisan reasons, but the vitriol gives me pause. What if voters can’t find themselves in their candidates? Where does that leave us this November?
I have no tidy wrap up this morning. Stay positive, mes amis, and be kind to each other.